What is “Brain Hearing” and why should I care?

June 20, 2017 2

Simply put, better hearing starts with your brain. The brain is literally, the most important part of how we hear. For people to hear, is for people to think because hearing is thinking. We actually hear with our brain, and not with our ears. Speech and conversation is a cognitive highly process.

Think of your ears as antennas. Your ears collect sounds and convert those sounds into nerve impulses. Once converted, they are sent to your brain. Your brain takes those nerve impulses and processes those sounds by matching them to sounds stored in your memory. Your brain needs as much sound detail as possible in order to turn these sounds into meaning. Whenever there are missing sounds, your brain tries to fill in the gaps of information.

Often times this is difficult and exhausting for a person with hearing loss. The fact is, good hearing is not about making sounds loud enough, such as by turning up the volume, but rather it’s about helping your brain understand the sounds around you. The longer hearing loss goes untreated, the more sounds your brain misses. As time passes and you hear less of the world around you, your brain actually forgets how to process certain sounds. Again, this too is difficult and exhausting for people with hearing loss. When sound does make it to your ears and then funnels to your brain, there are four primary functions that the brain completes in order to understand the sound/nerve impulses it has just received:

  1. Orient yourself according to positioning and sounds, ideally using both ears to accomplish this.
  2. Distinguish and separate sources of all sounds.
  3. Focus on what sound is of primary importance and then align sounds in order of importance.
  4. Recognize what each sound is and make sense of each sound instantly.

Each of these four primary cognitive functions happens seamlessly and instantly in each healthy/typical human brain. In the brain of a hearing impaired person however, this process does not always happen seamlessly, but rather it turns into a difficult and consuming process.

So what can be done? It’s the easiest answer you’ll ever get, get a hearing exam. Let a professional access and diagnose your hearing loss. A hearing healthcare professional will assist you in defining you hearing loss, confronting your hearing loss and making a plan for your better hearing healthcare for the future.

If you or a loved one experience any of these warning signs of hearing loss, it’s time to consider getting a complete diagnostic hearing exam.

At Physicians Hearing Solutions, all of our hearing healthcare professionals are fully licensed and trained in providing each patient with the best hearing healthcare options available. We want you to know you can trust that you are getting the highest quality hearing healthcare each time you come to see us. Our goal is to improve your quality of life through providing you with the quality hearing healthcare you deserve. We offer complimentary complete Diagnostic Hearing Evaluations. Please don’t wait, call today, (401) 921-0181 Warwick office, (401) 435-5355 East Providence office.


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